Birmingham is a historic and affordable retirement spot.

Making the enormous decision to retire is just the start of the entire process, because once that’s decided there’s a flurry of other decisions that have to be made—one of the most crucial being the decision on where to actually settle down and live.

Picking the right location to retire can be extremely overwhelming with virtually an endless amount of possibilities to choose from across the country. There are many important factors that go into making such a big decision like where to live, even after narrowing the list of choices down to just a few potential areas.

While it’s nice to consider the pros and cons of each place like the location’s proximity to family and friends, the area’s climate, walkability, access to healthcare, and other amenities, the major deciding factor often comes down to finances and if a place is reasonably within your budget. The cost of living and affordability of housing in a place can have a major impact on whether or not an active adult can retire comfortably. 

When it comes to affordability, Birmingham, Alabama should be on every active adult’s radar who’s looking to move South for retirement, as it’s one of the most economical cities in the U.S. And, the Southern city doesn’t just stand out for its affordability against cities in neighboring states in the southeast like Florida, Georgia, and Tennessee, it also stands out as one of the most affordable cities for retirees across the country for a number of reasons.

Cost of Living 

For starters, the state’s cost of living is much lower than the national average. According to Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine, Alabama’s cost of living is actually 13% below the U.S. average. Kiplinger also reports that average health care costs for a retired couple in Alabama are below the national average by almost $20k. The city’s low average home price of $64,100 also helps keep spending down. The low cost of living, health care, and home prices aren’t the only benefits as there are also a few tax incentives that come along with retiring in Birmingham.

Friendly Taxes 

Income taxes are reasonable with rates that range between 2 percent to 5 percent. As an added bonus social security benefits, as well as public and private pensions, are completely exempt from taxes. Homeowners in Alabama will also have the benefit of some of the country’s lowest property taxes as well as a homestead exemption, which helps save some money on single-family homes that are considered primary residences for people over the age of 65.

55+ Communities

Interested in seeing what active adults communities Birmingham has to offer? Below we’ve highlighted three to consider.

English Turn at Graystone Farms 

Built in 1997, the gated English Turn at Graystone Farms community is home to approximately 80 single-family residences that are available on a resale-only basis. The development is conveniently located only about 15 minutes away from downtown Birmingham and offers residents low-maintenance living at an affordable price with plenty of enviable amenities.

Most homes within English Turn at Graystone Farms are ranch-style and range from 1,700 to 2,900 square feet of living space. Noteworthy amenities include an outdoor pool and expansive patio, clubhouse, walking and biking trails, plus, a tranquil lake.

Cornerstones at Oxmoor Valley

The Birmingham community of Cornerstone at Oxmoor Valley has both new and resale options available to potential homebuyers. There are two different attached-home floor plans to choose between, which feature two bedrooms, two baths, and an attached two-car garage. Living space ranges from approximately 1,718 to 1,816 square feet.

Amenities within the complex include a clubhouse, exercise room, outdoor pool, patio, and walking and biking trails. As an added perk, homeowners’ association fees cover most maintenance, including exterior home maintenance, lawn care, driveway maintenance, as well as common area maintenance, helping residents focus more on enjoying retirement than dealing with small hassles around the house.

The Cottages of Danberry

The smallest of the three Birmingham communities highlighted is The Cottages at Danberry, a gated, age-restricted community that has 48 homes. Both new and resale single-family homes are offered currently. Living spaces range from 2,500 to 3,000 square feet and can have up to four bedrooms, three bathrooms, and an attached three-car garage.

The community has several luxe amenities like a salon, indoor pool, concierge, and an on-site bistro and pub. The lakeside clubhouse is the go-to for social activities and organized clubs. Beyond the amenities, the community is conveniently located near a number of shopping and dining options and is only 15 minutes from downtown Birmingham.